Black Dog de Christo

What dog? Where? And in what wrap? Mastiff? Spitz?
Chihuahua? No. None but the black dog bundled.
And Christo, would he sketch her architectural?
Choose binding to hold her? No. First he must
find the place, then carefully decide the cover: a shy
translucent saffron to make her a sunspot–
dark heart on display an hour each dawn
and dusk. As with a sari, Christo drapes her
in all nine yards. Black dog sits and sits. She
cannot scratch haunch or nose. She is enclosed;
her animus breathes in orange streaks. Silk
settles soft on fur, twine portions twilight,
stains the saffron purple. The coming night is lost.

No Gates or Running Fence. The public gawks
at seated ebony englowed in whipcord in a field, while
at a gallery across town, framed imaginings go
for thousands. Outside, the cloaked black dog is
the monk she always was. Her toenails show:
dropped stitches against orange silk. Sixty minutes
to sundown, 59, 28. One. Show’s over. Now the knots
and twistings undone. Christo speaks softly in French.
In liquid light the sudden animation of her
is free. She speaks as the ancients: I am all
that has been and is and shall be, no mortal yet
has raised my veil
. With a thump of her tail
she’s off. She forgets about art for a while.





Lynn Wagner is the author of the chapbook, No Blues This Raucous Song (Slapering Hol Press). Her poems have appeared in Shenandoah, Subtropics, West Branch, and other journals. Awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize and fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh. She lives and writes in Denver, Colorado, and teaches poetry at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Find out more at